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WWTS Mentee Update: Manju Howard

Manju was the lucky recipient of a mentorship with author Rachel Ruiz. Here are a few words from Manju on her experience. 

I’m grateful to Tara and Becky for creating the Writing with The Stars Mentorships. I applied for this mentorship because I’d hit a submissions rut. Most of the replies I received from agents read something like, “Although your writing is strong, your story isn’t a good fit for my list.”

Thankfully, Rachel Ruiz connected with my ownvoice based story. During our initial phone call, I learned that Rachel is easy to talk to, passionate about writing, and on deadline. We agreed to push back the mentorship a month so that Rachel could finish writing and editing her Martin Luther King graphic novel.

I used the month of February to design an author website. There’s nothing like a deadline to make me complete a project that had been on my to-do list for months. Visit me here: https://www.authormanjuhoward.com/

In March, I started emailing my stories to Rachel. The PB manuscripts that needed to be polished, she graciously line edited. The manuscript that didn’t work as an early reader, she nudged me to rewrite as a picture book.

Having Rachel in my corner along with my critique group, gave me the confidence to leap from submitting to agents to submitting to select editors. Time will tell if this strategy leads to my first traditionally published book.

No matter what happens, I’m really grateful that despite all the craziness life has thrown at both Rachel and I over the past few months, we’ve become friends. And I look forward to sharing stories, pitches and life’s twists for years to come.



One comment

  1. Claire Bobrow says:

    Thanks for this update, Manju. I’m so glad your mentorship with Rachel is proving to be fruitful. Good luck with all your projects, and please keep us posted. I’m rooting for you!

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